Act as a Learning Designer — Getting ChatGPT to Generate an Online Module

Aneesha Bakharia
4 min readJan 16, 2023

First up — this is just an experiment. The aim is to illustrate what is possible and trigger discussion. I’ve seen a lot of “the essay is dead” from a student assessment perspective, and this blog post aims to look at the ChatGPT (or LLM) possibilities in educational resource development.

The blog title is a bit gimmicky — it should be “act as subject matter expert and a learning designer”. The twist is that I prompt ChatGPT to generate text in the Liascript variant of Markdown. Liascript is a Markdown format for online courses including shorthand markup for quiz questions, surveys, and interactive elements (including code execution and even distributed web3 features of multi-user activities). Just write your course in Markdown, save it in a Github repo as a .md file and you can view the course with interactive elements including a left-hand menu and search.

I chose “Grammar” — a non-programming or technical topic to illustrate online module course generation and the ability ChatGPT has to understand language. I’ll include a screen grab of the essential prompts in this blog post, but a text version is also available on Github which can be used to generate content for any domain area.

You can view the generated course here:
https://liascript.github.io/course/?https://raw.githubusercontent.com/aneesha/chatgpt_grammar_course/main/README.md

The chatGPT authored course in Liascript Markdown.

The Initial Prompt for the Course Outline

This prompt had to set the scene and direct ChatGPT to be an SME, have essential learning designer skills, know markdown and come up with an outline of the online module.

Key sections I would have thought essential were missing and I asked for these to be added.

Generating Each Section with Quiz Questions in Liascript Markdown

I created descriptive examples explaining the quiz question Liascript Markdown format and then asked ChatGPT to generate the section by name, the sub-sections to be included, examples and 3 quiz questions.

I found that I only needed to teach ChatGPT the quiz format once and I could just ask for the content section in the subsequent prompts.

For one of the sections, the content exceed to token (word) limit and I had to add another prompt to generate the quiz questions, which it did but forgot to use the code editor (so that the Markdown could easily be copied). ChatGPT clearly knew how to use the quiz format and specify which answer was correct.

Generating the Final Quiz

I used the following prompt to get a larger set of quiz questions for the final module quiz.

Generating Instructor Suggestions for Teaching Online via Zoom

These actually surprised me … Some creativity in coming up with learning activities suitable for the domain.

Next Steps

I’m interested in using ChatGPT to author markdown for the different features supported by Liascript. More impressive than text content generation would be authoring new learning activities as new interactives that could be embedded within a course (e.g. program the sentence scramble idea in Javascript and embed it in the Liascript course from just a text description). I’d also like to further explore the chatbot features to be used as a learning design advisor.

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Aneesha Bakharia

Data Science, Topic Modelling, Deep Learning, Algorithm Usability and Interpretation, Learning Analytics, Electronics — Brisbane, Australia